Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
Western New Mexico University on Saturday hosted the regional Science Olympiad. Of those that competed, 8 high school teams will advance to State, and 7 middle school teams will advance. The advancing team from Silver High School ranked 6th, and the advancing team from La Plata Middle School came in 4th.
Due to a planned staff workshop, the offices and ranger stations on the Gila National Forests will not be selling forest maps, firewood and other permits on February 8th and 9th. Maps and permits will be available on Monday and Tuesday, February 6th and 7th, and then normal sales will resume on Friday, February 10th.
The Deming-Luna County Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated their 101st annual Chamber Gala. The Chamber presented the following awards at the Gala: Jack Blanford for Agribusiness Person of the Year, Florent Lescombes for Business Person of the Year, Paul Sanchez for Outstanding Citizen, Caleb Kartchner for Education Person of the Year, and Greg Morrow at Understandable Insurance was selected as New Business of the Year.
In legislative action, a proposed bill in the New Mexico House of Representatives would give the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office more authority to investigate police shootings and force prosecutors to present evidence in open court instead of to a grand jury behind closed doors.
One State Senator from Roswell is again sponsoring a bill to avoid the inconvenience of springing forward and falling back. Senator Cliff Pirtle introduced SB 239, a bill to keep New Mexico on Daylight Savings Time for 12 months, instead of the current eight. Senator Pirtle said of the legislation “No one likes changing clocks twice a year, so let’s stop doing it.”
Motorists who text and drive and who are careless and reckless could be hit with higher fines if SB 55 becomes law. Sponsor Senate Minority Caucus Chair Steve Neville hopes increased fines will make motorists and law enforcement authorities pay more attention to obeying and enforcing the laws. Senator Neville said of the bill “Distracted driving (is) approaching the rate of DWI in our state.”
Governor Susana Martinez on Friday vetoed Senate Bill 176, citing that the budget proposal is a thinly veiled attempt to expand funding to legislators while cutting much needed funding to the courts and aging community. In her message, she applauded the House for passing a bill which would “provide the necessary funding for the Legislature while recognizing that, as a co-equal branch of government, it should put some skin in the game.”